As the world descends into geopolitical competition, other powers increasingly challenge European countries' ability to defend their interests and values. Russia is willing to weaponise energy supplies, cyber capabilities, and disinformation; China invests strategically and uses state capitalism to skew the market; Turkey instrumentalises migration; Saudi Arabia leverages its energy resources. And the Trump administration is willing to exploit European dependence on the transatlantic security alliance and the dollar to achieve short-term policy goals. What unites these disparate powers is their unwillingness to separate the functioning of the global economy from political and security competition. The EU has the market power, defence spending, and diplomatic heft to end this vulnerability and restore sovereignty to its member states.
The EU is to conduct war games to prepare for Russian and Chinese cyber-attacks, in response to a series of incidents that alarmed European governments. Pekka Haavisto, Finland's foreign minister, said an increase in the prevalence of meddling required a reaction from the 28 member states. During meetings in Helsinki in July and September, EU interior and finance ministers will be asked to manage fictional scenarios. Finland, which takes over the EU's rotating presidency on 1 July, believes Russia was responsible for blocking GPS signals last October when Finnish forces took part in Nato military exercises in Norway. The Kremlin was also accused of trying to launch a cyber-attack on the headquarters of the international chemical weapons watchdog in an operation that was ultimately foiled by Dutch military intelligence.
United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo urged NATO allies on Thursday to work together to confront a wide variety of emerging threats from Russia and China. Pompeo made the call at the start of a NATO meeting of foreign ministers in Washington, marking the 70th anniversary of the transatlantic military alliance. "We must adapt our alliance to confront emerging threats ... whether that's Russian aggression, uncontrolled migration, cyberattacks, threats to energy security, Chinese strategic competition, including technology and 5G ... [or] many other issues," Pompeo said. The meeting's first session focused on ways to deter Russia, including in the Black Sea, where it seized three Ukrainian naval vessels last year. NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg called on Moscow to release the ships and their crews.
"Artificial intelligence" (AI) has become one of the buzzwords of the decade, as a potentially important part of the answer to humanity's biggest challenges in everything from addressing climate change to fighting cancer and even halting the ageing process. It is widely seen as the most important technological development since the mass use of electricity, one that will usher in the next phase of human evolution. At the same time, some warnings that AI could lead to widespread unemployment, rising inequality, the development of surveillance dystopias, or even the end of humanity are worryingly convincing. States would, therefore, be well advised to actively guide AI's development and adoption into their societies. For Europe, 2019 was the year of AI strategy development, as a growing number of EU member states put together expert groups, organised public debates, and published strategies designed to grapple with the possible implications of AI. European countries have developed training programmes, allocated investment, and made plans for cooperation in the area. Next year is likely to be an important one for AI in Europe, as member states and the European Union will need to show that they can fulfil their promises by translating ideas into effective policies. But, while Europeans are doing a lot of work on the economic and societal consequences of the growing use of AI in various areas of life, they generally pay too little attention to one aspect of the issue: the use of AI in the military realm. Strikingly, the military implications of AI are absent from many European AI strategies, as governments and officials appear uncomfortable discussing the subject (with the exception of the debate on limiting "killer robots"). Similarly, the academic and expert discourse on AI in the military also tends to overlook Europe, predominantly focusing on developments in the US, China, and, to some extent, Russia. This is likely because most researchers consider Europe to be an unimportant player in the area.
NEW DELHI: India on Friday sought to add meat to its strategic partnership with Germany by wooing industries to invest in defence corridors of Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh. At their biennial summit in New Delhi, India and Germany also sought to give momentum to revive stalled negotiations for free-trade agreement with the European Union. Proposed in 2007, the negotiations hit a roadblock in 2013 when the two sides arrived at an impasse on tariffs and market access. Disagreements on standards and practices exacerbated the situation and negotiations were shelved for five years. Germany has been an advocate of the deal and welcomed the resumption of negotiations last year.